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Modern VideoFilm Gives Alien Facelift

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the release of “Alien,”

Modern VideoFilm

gave Ridley Scott’s masterpiece a millennial face-lift. Using Quantel’s iQ system, Modern VideoFilm digitally restored and color-corrected the film for a planned fall theatrical re-release by 20th Century Fox.

“What we’re doing, in the pure sense of the word, is a digital intermediate, but the interesting twist is that it’s also a restoration digital intermediate process,” says Mark Smirnoff, Executive Vice President of Studio Services for Modern VideoFilm.

Smirnoff and his team of artists scanned the original film elements digitally into the iQ and did a full restoration. Having been in storage for 25 years, the elements had suffered. Using the Q Paint system on the iQ, the artists at Modern VideoFilm were able to paint over dirt, scratches, splices and other damage the film had suffered.

Director Ridley Scott worked with colorist Skip Kimble and personally oversaw all of the color correction. Working on the iQ with a da Vinci 2K Plus, Kimble color-corrected and timed the film in a theatre setting at Modern VideoFilm’s Glendale facility. Scott and Kimble have collaborated on several other films, including “Gladiator” and “Thelma & Louise.”

Modern VideoFilm is creating two different versions of the 25th Anniversary “Alien,” one film print and one digital cinema version. Using the iQ allows the artists to work on the film as data. “We are able to share our digital file, which will go to theatres that are equipped with digital cinema projection,” Ken Quain, Account executive/post supervisor at Modern VideoFilm.